Massachusetts law about gambling and casinos

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on gambling and casinos law.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

18 yrs old attend charitable bingo or bazaar

St.2016, c.219, §§ 135 and 137, as amended by St.2018, § 154 Legalizing daily fantasy sports (DFS).

MGL c.10, §§ 37-40 Beano, raffles, compulsive gambling

21 yrs old casino gaming area or DFS

MGL c.23K Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Permits up to 3 casinos and 1 slots-only casino in the state. Has several provisions particular to Indian tribes.

MGL c.137 Gaming

MGL c.271 Gambling crimes

Massachusetts regulations

205 CMR Mass. Gaming Commission

940 CMR 12 Regulations governing raffles

940 CMR 13 Regulations governing bazaars

940 CMR 30 Illegal lotteries, sweepstakes and de facto gambling establishments

940 CMR 34 Daily fantasy sports contest operators in Massachusetts  

961 CMR Mass. Lottery Commission

Federal laws

15 USC §§ 1171-1173 Johnson Act. Regulates transportation of gambling devices

25 USC §§ 2701 et seq. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Sets the terms for how tribes are allowed to operate casinos and bingo parlors, as well as enabling off-reservation land for casinos. Defines the 3 classes of gaming.

31 USC §§ 5361-5367 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 This law prohibits companies from accepting money for internet gambling, if the gambling is illegal under existing federal or state laws. It doesn't address gambling directly, but rather the transfer of funds from credit cards and bank accounts to online casinos.

Federal regulations

25 CFR 290 Tribal revenue allocation plans

25 CFR 291 Class III gaming procedures. Used when a state and an Indian tribe are unable to voluntarily agree to a compact and "the State has asserted its immunity from suit brought by an Indian tribe under 25 U.S.C. 2710(d)(7)(B)."

25 CFR 292 Gaming on trust lands acquired after October 17, 1988. "Articulates standards that the BIA will follow in interpreting the various exceptions to the gaming prohibitions contained in section 2719 of IGRA."

25 CFR Chapter III National Indian Gaming Commission regulations

Selected case law

Buzulis v. Mohegan Sun Casino, 69 Mass.App.Ct. 708 (2007)
Gaming disputes. Court of the Mohegan Tribe had exclusive subject matter jurisdiction over the action.

Connecticut National Bank of Hartford v. Richard Kommit, 31 Mass.App.Ct. 348 (1991).
An often-cited case that discusses the collection of a credit card debt for a cash advance by a Massachusetts resident to be used for gambling in Atlantic City, under a credit card contract generally governed by Connecticut law.

In re: Daily Fantasy Sports Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, In re: DraftKings, Inc., Fantasy Sports Litigation, In re: FanDuel, Inc., Fantasy Sports Litigation, 158 F.Supp.3d 1375 (2016)
80 actions or potential tag-along actions, pending in multiple districts, involving allegations of improper or illegal conduct by the operators of 2 online daily fantasy sports contests. Centralization was warranted, and District of Massachusetts was appropriate transferee district.

Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 572 U.S. 782, 134 S. Ct. 2024 (2014)
Tribal sovereign immunity.

Murphy v. NCAA, __ U.S. __, 138 S. Ct. 1461 (May 14, 2018)
The Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which bars states from permitting gambling on sports, is an unconstitutional infringement on states' rights. 

United States - Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services, World Trade Organization, Report of the Appellate Body, AB-2005-1, April 2005. This is a complicated decision involving U.S. regulation of international gambling, particularly in Antigua and Barbuda. In part, it effectively allows specific states (Louisiana, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Utah) to prohibit gambling.

Agencies

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Responsible for recognizing tribes and tribal land, revenue allocation, and more

Department of Justice Office of Tribal Justice 
OTJ is the primary point of contact for the Department of Justice's government to government relationship with Indian tribes.

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Gaming Enforcement Division
Enforces the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 and investigates and prosecutes illegal activity such as gaming-related financial crime, organized crime, corruption, and money laundering.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission 
"The mission of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is to create a fair, open and transparent process for implementing the expanded gaming law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in November, 2011."

National Indian Gaming Commission 
Has primary responsibility to oversee Indian gaming

Office of Problem Gambling Services, Mass. Dept. of Public Health

Web sources

Attorney General's FAQs about nonprofit gaming events
An informative FAQ for charities and nonprofits interested in conducting a gaming event

Guidance on raffles, Mass. Attorney General 
Information on the rules and guidelines to follow if your organization is considering holding a raffle in Massachusetts.

Guide to taxes: gambling and lottery winnings, Mass. Department of Revenue
Explains how to report gambling and lottery winnings

Interior Department deals blow to Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Cape Cod Times, September 8, 2018
The "U.S Department of the Interior... issued a finding that it could not keep 321 acres of land taken into trust for the tribe..., casting an ominous shadow on the Cape tribe’s future and its proposed $1 billion casino in Taunton." Includes a link to the DOI decision.

NIGC Bulletin 05-1 Use of net gaming revenues bulletin, National Indian Gaming Commission
Bulletin was written "to encourage tribes to employ policies and procedures in their expenditure of tribal gaming revenues that comply with IGRA and will minimize complaints and misunderstanding among the tribal membership and interested outside parties."

The tip of the iceberg: daily fantasy sports a harbinger of future regulatory challenges, 60 Boston Bar Journal 29, Spring 2016

Unlawful internet gambling enforcement act of 2006: overview, FDIC
Provides detailed summary of the law. "This document provides an overview of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006... and sets forth procedures for reviewing compliance by financial institutions."

White paper on daily fantasy sports by Mass. Gaming Commission.  January 11, 2016.

Print sources

Cohen's handbook of Federal Indian law, by Felix S. Cohen. LexisNexis, with supplement.

Criminal law, Mass. practice v. 32 with supplement; Chapter 23, Gaming.

Deal or no deal (Audio CD) Transacting in Native America, American Bar Association, 2008.

Gaming law in a nutshell, by Walter T. Champion, Jr. and I. Nelson Rose. West, 2018.

Massachusetts proof of cases, West, with supplement. Chapter 51, Gaming offenses

Summary of basic law, Mass. practice v.14A , West, annual. Chapter 7, Gaming offenses, §§ 7.274-7.278.

The Supreme Court and tribal gaming: California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, by Ralph A. Rossum. University Press of Kansas, c2011.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: May 9, 2019
Feedback